Pre-Switch appoints Foxy Power to spearhead adoption of highly-efficient, AI-based soft-switching

Pre-Switch appoints Foxy Power to spearhead adoption of highly-efficient, AI-based soft-switching power platform

April 2 2020, Campbell, Ca., USA: Pre-Switch, Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up that has developed the world’s-first Artificial Intelligence (AI) DC/AC, AC/DC soft-switching controller delivering efficiency and performance benefits to a wide range of applications including EVs and renewables, has appointed Foxy Power GmbH from Berlin, Germany as its strategic partner for business development and sales.

Founded in 2016, Pre-Switch has overcome the previously-insurmountable challenges of implementing soft-switching in DC/AC systems with varying input voltage, temperature and load conditions. Pre-Switch uses AI to constantly-adjust the relative timing of elements within the switching system required to force a resonance to offset the current and voltage wave forms – thereby minimizing switching losses.

Foxy Power GmbH supports startups and other companies with disruptive technologies by delivering worldwide business development, sales and strategy services. The company has created the concept of Product Value Maximization which increases the hit rate of manufacturers’ sales outreach and optimizes an application-centric approach.

“We believe that it is vitally-important to identify the unique selling propositions and product features of a company and its technology before starting to promote products”, says Christopher Rocneanu, CEO and founder of Foxy Power. “In Pre-Switch’s case its unique capability is to bring soft-switching to DC/AC and AC/DC inverters which significantly increases range for battery applications such as electric vehicle traction inverters. In industrial applications the same technology can reduce the size, weight and system cost of the Active Front End.”

Adds Bruce Renouard, CEO of Pre-Switch: “Foxy Power has been doing a fantastic job for Pre-Switch by successfully approaching the top global automotive OEMs and automotive suppliers while mapping the success into industrial applications such as motor drives, battery chargers and transportation.”

Pre-Switch: Further, Faster, Lighter, Cheaper – Cooler

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Motor Benefits

A Pre-Switch-enabled inverter reduces sine wave output distortion by 10X, enabling motors to run more efficiently. In a conventional hard switching design, the output ripple current of the half-bridge circuit switching back and forth at 10-15 switching events per fundamental frequency causes a significant level of distortion.  The distortion is effectively an induction heater in the motor coils and does no useful work. Pre-Switch technology minimizes this ripple by switching 10x faster.  The lower distortion fundamental sine wave to the motor is what we call a ‘clean wave’ and improves motor efficiency predominantly at lower RPM and lower torques which is where EV’s are driven and increases EV range.

The second benefit of the Pre-Switch soft switching architecture is that inverter dV/dt is configurable with a free lossless dV/dt filter that is part of the architecture.  Reducing dV/dt improves motor reliability and reduces motor winding insulation allowing higher power density motors. Due to the fast edge  speeds of WBG (SiC; GaN) transistors, high dV/dt is traded off for reduced switching losses.  But high dV/dt speeds of above 15-20V/ns can cause insulation damage. Inverter designers in the past accommodate these excessive dV/dt speeds by adding extra insulation in the motor. This approach has the adverse affect of reducing motor power density and increasing motor costs.  In contrast, the Pre-Switch architecture slows edge speeds but allows increased switching frequencies, eliminating the problem of high dV/dt speeds and reducing the insulation required. 

The faster switching speeds enabled with Pre-Switch can be used to spin motors faster.  In some applications a lower cost, lighter and higher RPM motor can be used.

The final benefit for motor design is that because Pre-Switch-enabled systems switch so fast, low inductance motors can be used which have the benefit of being smaller and lighter and lower cost. This is particularly suitable for applications such as electric aircraft, where designers are trying to reduce the amount of iron in the motors to keep weight to a minimum.